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J Assoc Acad Minor Phys. 1999;10(3):51-8.

Colorectal cancer epidemiology in minorities: a review.

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Center for Health Policy/Health Services Research, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore 21201, USA.


Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. In 1997, more than 131,000 new cases and more than 54,000 deaths were estimated. Racial and ethnic disparities in incidence, mortality and survival rates, and trends exist for this disease. Differences in colorectal cancer screening, early detection, and treatment in minority communities are related to therapeutic outcomes. Age-adjusted incidence rates for men with colorectal cancer are highest for Alaskan native men, followed by Japanese, then African-American men. For women, the incidence is highest for Alaskan native women, followed by African-American, then Japanese women. Mortality rates in men are highest for African Americans, followed by Alaskan natives and then Hawaiians. In women, mortality rates are highest for Alaskan natives, then African Americans and whites. Colorectal cancer screening rates vary by race, income, and education. It is interesting that, when compared with whites, African-American men demonstrate the higher reported rate of screening for this disease. In addition, site specificity is different for African Americans compared with whites. Findings also reveal that stage at diagnosis is an influential factor with regard to mortality and survival. This may be related in part to socioeconomic factors, differences in anatomic site, and treatment differences in African Americans. Risk factor data for this disease are scarce for minority populations. Documented differences in colorectal cancer incidence, mortality, and survival rates exist between minorities and whites. Additional research is needed on risk factors specific to African Americans and other minorities, differences in treatment, and the role of socioeconomic status.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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